There are many myths about Costa Rica. All developing nations seem to have a storm of bad press surrounding it, mainly in the likes of the UK and the US. We don’t understand it and therefore we often buy into these myths. We take their words for it, and any negative story is automatically the truth about the whole country.
Let’s take a look at some of the common myths of this country and why you shouldn’t believe them.
- 1. The Food is Terrible
Admittedly this is a matter of personal taste, but Costa Rican food favours lots of flavour. Some of the dishes are unhealthy with copious amounts of oil added, but it won’t ruin your digestive system. Costa Rican cuisine consists of mainly fruits and vegetables. This isn’t like India where the food will mess with your digestive system. Ticos love food and they take a lot of care and effort to make it the best it can be.
- 2. Don’t Drink the Water
This seems to be a myth attributed to lots of countries, especially the likes of India and Brazil. The water is perfectly fine to drink. In some of the very isolated villages you might find some stagnant water nearby which would be unsafe to drink, but the resorts and towns like Montezuma all have clean water supplies.
As long as you take care, there’s nothing wrong with drinking tap water. If you prefer, there’s still plenty of bottled water on offer.
- 3. Malaria is Everywhere
Malaria is not everywhere. Mosquitos are everywhere. Mosquitos aren’t the creators of malaria. If you see a mosquito it can’t necessarily infect you. The malaria parasites hitch a ride on the mosquitos which infect you through their bites. Most mosquitos are annoying but they aren’t deadly. Malaria is comparatively rare these days due to mass vaccination programmes.
Countries in Europe, like Finland, also have lots of mosquitos in the hotter months, but they don’t cause any harm other than perhaps keeping you up at night. Wear repellent and you should have no problems.
- 4. Crime is Everywhere
Costa Rica is not Mexico. It’s not in the middle of a drug war. The only real crime you’ll have to deal with is pickpocketing. Ticos aren’t violent by nature. It’s why the country doesn’t have an army. Following the civil war last century the country voted to abolish the armed forces, and there’s been no clamour to bring it back.
As long as you take proper precautions, such as not exploring the cities at night, you won’t encounter crime.
- 5. Everywhere is Hot and Humid
Not everywhere is hot and humid. This is one of the biggest myths about Costa Rica. The beach areas and the jungles will be hot and humid, but head to the highlands in the north and it’s quite cool. In the winter you might even need to sit around a fireplace in one of the hotels up there.
Costa Rica has a very diverse climate. It’s by no means cold, but the humidity differs depending on the season and where you happen to be. Bear this in mind when you plan your next holiday in Costa Rica.